When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.
But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of North Carolina.
But where exactly in North Carolina? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in North Carolina that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.
What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Mount Holly don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Tar Heel State to retire:
- Mount Holly (Photos)
- Cary (Photos)
- Kannapolis (Photos)
- Apex (Photos)
- Morrisville (Photos)
- Holly Springs
- Cornelius (Photos)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Tar Heel State
To create our list of the best places in North Carolina to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Tar Heel State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 111 places from across the state.
For these 111, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:
- Low cost of living
- Low crime
- Things to do (As measured by population density)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 111, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Mount Holly, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
1. Mount Holly
Population: 14,058Cost Of Living: 91
Distance to Closest Airport: 7 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,778
Mount Holly ranked 1st overall thanks to it’s 59th place rank for cost of living and it’s 14th place safety rank.
Population: 155,822Cost Of Living: 118
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,160
Cary ranked 2nd overall thanks to it’s 110th place rank for cost of living and it’s 7th place safety rank.
Population: 45,685Cost Of Living: 85
Distance to Closest Airport: 24 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,280
Kannapolis ranked 3rd overall thanks to it’s 19th place rank for cost of living and it’s 24th place safety rank.
Population: 43,893Cost Of Living: 113
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,116
Apex ranked 4th overall thanks to it’s 107th place rank for cost of living and it’s 6th place safety rank.
Population: 22,600Cost Of Living: 110
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,119
Morrisville ranked 5th overall thanks to it’s 102nd place rank for cost of living and it’s 20th place safety rank.
Population: 14,759 Cost Of Living: 102
Distance to Closest Airport: 17 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,382
Stallings ranked 6th overall thanks to it’s 87th place rank for cost of living and it’s 8th place safety rank.
Population: 52,570Cost Of Living: 84
Distance to Closest Airport: 40 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,595
Burlington ranked 7th overall thanks to it’s 14th place rank for cost of living and it’s 63rd place safety rank.
8. Holly Springs
Population: 30,126Cost Of Living: 107
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
Crime Per 100k: 955
Holly Springs ranked 8th overall thanks to it’s 97th place rank for cost of living and it’s 2nd place safety rank.
Population: 27,426Cost Of Living: 110
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,527
Cornelius ranked 9th overall thanks to it’s 102nd place rank for cost of living and it’s 9th place safety rank.
Population: 9,781 Cost Of Living: 99
Distance to Closest Airport: 43 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,053
Elon ranked 10th overall thanks to it’s 82nd place rank for cost of living and it’s 4th place safety rank.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in North Carolina goes to Mount Holly.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- Mount Airy
- Kill Devil Hills
For more North Carolina reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In North Carolina
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In North Carolina
- These Are The 10 Most Boring Places To Live In North Carolina
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In North Carolina
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